Citrine Wagtail  rare breeding bird

On Tuesday 12 July 2011, Luuk Draaijer found a first-summer male Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola during a survey of farmland birds near Zeewolde. Three days later he visited the site again, accompanied by Ed Veling and me (I coordinated the survey in Flevoland back then). Immediately upon our arrival the bird showed!

It soon became clear that the bird was paired with a female Blue-headed Wagtail M flava and feeding young. On 16 July, three young were seen making their first flights. Although the male and female came very close to the observers, the young always kept well hidden between the sugar beet crops. The male was last seen on 22 July and the female with two young probably on 27 July. Unfortunately the site was not open for public. In the entire period, the family was observed by only a few people, including André van den Berg, Arnoud van den Berg and Merijn van Leeuwen.

At the time, the observation was accepted as the 32nd record of Citrine Wagtail for the Netherlands by the CDNA, the first dating back to 1984 (Ovaa et al 2012). Especially since 2006 the number of sightings has increased. This record constituted the first (mixed) breeding of Citrine Wagtail for the Netherlands. In the last decades, the species is expanding its range westwards; it is now breeding regularly in Finland, the Baltic states and Poland. Other cases of mixed breeding have occurred as far west as England, France and Sweden (Draaijer & Slaterus 2012).

Citrine Wagtail breeding Netherlands

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Published 13 August 2018